Innovation and Diversity

in Marine Design

Inland Transportation Systems

Inland Transportation SystemsFor many decades Robert Allan Ltd. has designed tugs, barges and other specialized work boats for the shallow waters of Canada’s Northland.

The expertise gained in designing for this very challenging and remote environment has provided opportunities with projects in other parts of the globe where comparable (if generally warmer!) conditions prevail. The result is a significant portfolio of very specialized, extreme shallow draft vessels optimized for shallow inland transportation systems. The key element of this group of vessels is a series of highly specialized and performance-optimized shallow draft pusher tugs (towboats) designated as the RApide series.

RApide tugs can be propelled by dual (2), triple (3) or quadruple (4) conventional screws (S), Z-drives (Z), or in some cases of extreme shallow draft by water jets (J). The RApide Series tugs are designated by length, propulsion type, and number of screws; e.g. RApide 4500-Z4.

Class Options

The following are examples of the RApide shallow-draft tug classes in service today, with several more under active development:

  • RApide 1800-S2
  • RApide 2200-S2
  • RApide 2300-J2
  • RApide 3000-S2
  • RApide 3900-S3
  • RApide 4600-Z3
  • RApide 4700-S4
  • RApide 5100-S

Recent projects in South America have led to further R&D into the propulsion and steering systems on these tugs, as well as the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques which enable accurate prediction of tug and barge system performance on often circuitous routes with strong currents.

In addition to pusher tugs, Robert Allan Ltd has designed a myriad of specialized barges for liquid, bulk, general and container cargoes, and other specialized work boats for shallow-draft applications.

Here is an excellent video courtesy of our friends at Estaleiro Rio Maguari of our RApide 2400-Z2 design in motion:

Related Press Releases

2017.03.13 Robert Allan Ltd. Designs for New Fleet of Pusher Tugs & Barges for Louis Dreyfus Company in Brazil
2015.07.31 Optimized tug-barge system designs by Robert Allan Ltd. performing well in South America by David R. Conn and Robert G. Allan, P. Eng.
2014.02.28 Hidrovias project taking shape: Unique Canadian designs for push boats and barges for the Rio Parana/Rio Paraguay waterway, built by Uzmar